Citrus fruit farming contributes to Rajshahi’s economy
Published: 05:04 PM, 6 September 2021 Updated: 05:08 PM, 6 September 2021
Citrus fruits like malta, lemon, jujube and batabi lime farming contribute to economy in the Rajshahi region including its vast Barind tract as many people are keen to cultivate the collateral cash crops.
Commercial farming of various citrus fruits has increased to a greater extent in the last couple of years.
Agriculturist ATM Rafiqul Islam opined that demand of the fruits has also risen among the consumers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many health experts are seen suggesting the patients to consume more citrus fruits to protect them from coronavirus infection with early recovery.
Rafiqul Islam said green and ripe fruits are enriched with vitamin A, B, C, calcium and iron which are essential for human body.
Obaidullah Shah, a farmer of Tentulia village in Porsha Upazila of Naogaon, has established a Malta orchard through transplanting 1,560 saplings on seven bighas of land in 2018 first.
He harvested fruit of around Taka 2.5 lakh the following year and earned around Tk six lakh last year.
He's expecting one and a half maund of fruit from each of the trees this year.
"I have established one more orchard on six bigha of land this year," said Obaidullah.
He gets suggestions from the local agricultural extension and research offices regularly. Obaidullah said commercial cultivation of the citrus fruits has begun in many areas making the farmers happy and enthusiastic side by side with vibrating the local economic activities.
Cultivation of malta fruit will bring a revolution in the local economy as hundreds of people from ultra-poor families have attained self-reliance by cultivating the delicious fruit.
On behalf of 'Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project, DASCOH Foundation, a non-্overnment organization, is extending technical and financial support to the farmers for boosting the citrus fruit production in the region.
Jahangir Alam Khan, the coordinator of the IWRM project said they provided financial support of Tk 31.17 lakh for installation of around 20 submersible pumps with 11 solar panels for ensuring irrigation facilities to around 200 bigha of malta farming fields in drip method.
So far, 500 farmers and local government representatives were imparted training on how to cultivate the crop properly.
Additional Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension Sirajul Islam said that the present government has taken time-fitting steps to boost the citrus fruits in the region as its soil texture and climate condition are suitable for cash crop farming.
A project titled "Citrus Crop Extension, Management and Increasing Production in Rajshahi and Bogura region" is being implemented to boost the cultivation of citrus fruits to meet local demand and export.
Under the project, farmers are being motivated to grow orange, malta and other citrus fruits.
Women and tribal farmers are also being involved in growing same kind of fruits through training. - BSS